Last updated: 2024-07-04

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Maintaining Spring Boot applications

A central aspect of maintaining a Spring Boot application is updating all versions that are used in the project, together with required adjustments to the code. How can such a version update be carried out and how often should it be done?

Upgrading the Spring Boot version

The versions are usually stored centrally in pom.xml or build.gradle, depending on the selected build tool. Here we can simply adapt the corresponding entry to the new version.

Defined Spring Boot version in Maven

All further dependencies managed by Spring Boot will be updated as part of this change. Other dependencies must be upgraded manually.

Managed and unmanaged dependency versions

If the project is imported into an IDE such as IntelliJ, we must also start the Reload Project process here. Our IDE will now download the new version and mark any problems in the code when we try to start our app. The updated application should be checked with automatic and manual tests as well.

For example, with Spring Boot 3.3 a possibility was introduced to support the Page class on a @RestController. In such a case, the code should adapt the new approach. Further updates can be found in the release log of the updated libraries - for example here for Spring Boot. This usually makes sense if problems or warnings appear during the upgrade.

How often should I update my app?

Regular updates are generally recommended so that changes do not accumulate over time and become unmanageable. The latest versions usually also have the highest level of compatibility with other libraries - when versions get too old, some extensions cannot be added anymore.

Spring Boot usually releases a new version on the 3rd Thursday of each month. It is therefore recommended to update your application to the latest version once a month.

Bootify supports this process in the Professional plan with the Git integration: if the automatic updates are active, the selected target branch of your individual application is updated to the latest version at the beginning of the month. This keeps backend and frontend libraries up to date - including any necessary code changes.

In the DevOps plan, custom files and build scripts can also be integrated into the applications. These extensions are automatically rolled out to the connected projects through the automatic export as well. This will further centralize and simplify the maintenance of your Spring Boot applications and microservices.

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